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Everything You Need To Know About Writing An Email Resignation Letter

In 2018, the average employee tenure in the US was 4.3 years. In other words, we tend to stay in one job for less than 5 years at a time.

With employee tenure being as it is, the average person can expect to work in eight or nine different jobs throughout the course of the lifetime.

If you’re not going to stay your first job for your entire life, then at some point you’re going to need to resign. Thanks to the internet, a formal written letter is no longer the requirement. But if you’re going to resign by email, how do you go about it?

Read on as we take a look at everything you need to know about writing an email resignation letter.

Who Should You Send It To? 

Before you even draft your email resignation, you’ll need to know who to send it to.

The email should be addressed to your current boss. Depending on the structure of your company, and the position you hold within it, this may be the CEO of the company. But it is far more likely to be your line manager, who will be responsible for dealing with your resignation.

You should also CC your HR department so that they aware of your resignation. It is also worth sending a copy to your personal email as you may not have access to your work email for much longer.

When Do I Have to Send It?

Legally, unless you have signed a contract stating otherwise, there is no minimum notice period when resigning.

However, the usual convention is to give at least two weeks’ notice. You will want to leave your current position on good terms (after all, you may need a reference from your current employer).

So it’s much better to give them a suitable time to start looking for a replacement rather than resigning with immediate effect.

If you have no option but to resign immediately then you can learn more about how to draft a letter to that effect.

Make the Subject Line Very Clear

Your boss is likely to get a lot of emails.

If your email subject line doesn’t make it obvious that this is a resignation email, then it might get dumped into in a folder to be looked at later, which is the last thing that you want.

Make your subject line very explicit about what the message contains. By which we mean putting the word resignation in it!

Information That You Need to Include

Once you come to the body of the email itself, there is certain information that you will need to include. 

Firstly you need to make it clear that is email is serving as notice of your resignation. As with your subject line, this needs to be completely unambiguous.

You will also need to include the date that you intend to leave the company. Your boss may decide that they would prefer you to leave with immediate effect. But if you give them your intended date in the email, everyone is clear as to your intentions.

Be as Nice as You Can

Regardless of the circumstances that have caused you to want to leave your position, you should still try to be as professional as possible in your resignation email.

It is always advisable to thank your employer for the opportunity to work for them. And also take the time to point out positives you have found during your time working there. 

If you really don’t have anything nice to say about your employer, then it’s better to say nothing rather than go into a long rant about all the negative stuff. After all, even if you don’t need a reference now, you may still need one in the future.

Don’t Make It Too Long

You don’t need to go into too much detail.

You’re under no obligation to tell them why you are leaving or what you intend to do next. Obviously, if colleagues ask you then it is your decision as to how much you want to tell them. But you don’t need to include any kind of explanation in your resignation email.

Unless there is a burning reason why you need to explain your decision, keep your email brief and to the point.

Ask What You Need to Ask

If there are any questions that you want answering before you leave then this is the time to ask them.

This might be about when you can expect to receive your final paycheck or queries about any other work benefits you might currently have. You may also need to return work equipment such as laptops or phones.

This is why you should be sure to CC your HR department as they will be able to answer the majority of these types of questions.

Make Sure They Have Your Contact Details

There may be some issues that are not completed before you leave, such as your final payment.

So make sure that you include contact details in case your former employers need to get hold of you after you have left.

And don’t forget that if you use a work email account, this address will be likely to go offline once you have left the company, so be sure to provide them with an alternative.

You should also back up or forward any emails that you want to keep before your work account is closed.

You’ve Written Your Email Resignation Letter. Now What?

Once you’ve written the perfect email resignation letter, all that’s left it is to see out your notice.

Whether you’re starting a new job that you already have lined up, or are still looking for that dream position, we’re here to help. We have plenty more great advice when it comes to official business letters and documents.

And there is a wide range of helpful articles on everything from retail to risk management

Whatever you plan to do next, we’re sure you’ll find something to help you succeed in whatever business you choose.